HONG KONG, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's Center for Food Safety Wednesday called on consumers to be more wary of the amount of iodine they consume, warning most Hong Kong people do not ingest enough.
A recent study done by the center which made the results public on Wednesday said, based on the dietary reference intakes established by the Chinese Nutrition Society for Chinese adults, 93 percent of the city's population has an iodine intake below the recommended level of 150 micrograms per day.
On the basis of foods people frequently consume, the center collected 271 samples of 92 food items from 11 food groups at local retail markets and restaurants, and found the food groups with a lower level of iodine were meat and poultry, cereals and grain products, legumes and vegetables, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Foods richest in iodine were seaweed, iodized salt, crustaceans and molluscs, egg and egg products, milk and milk products, fish, and sashimi and sushi.
Iodine is an essential micronutrient required for normal thyroid function, growth and development. Deficiency can cause damage to the brain, serious retardation in physical and mental development, and goiter. However, too much iodine can also have health effects.
The center appealed to consumers that they should follow the World Health Organization's recommendation of taking no more than five grams of salt, or one teaspoon, from all sources every day, and replacing non-iodized salt with iodized salt.